His Trouble

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

His trouble didn’t start
in Viet Nam,
although he came back
from the war
and went to live
in a cabin he built
in Northern Wisconsin.
His trouble began
when he was little,
the last of eight children
and a twin.

They put him outside
when he screamed
at supper-time—
the family couldn’t take
two more children.
His siblings taunted him.
His father beat him
when he was older
and poured his anger
and frustration out on him.
He was the scapegoat
of the family.

He still has flashbacks
thirty five years later—
still can’t be around people
or gunshots.

But his peace is in the lynx,
the bear, and the deer,
in watching them
take care of their young.
That’s all he talks about
when you go to see him.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

11 responses to “His Trouble

  1. It’s wonderful that he could find some solace.

  2. eremophila

    Yep, that’s how it is.

  3. This is so sad, so bloody true , why are we such bad beings. I know there are many like him please may God bring him peace .

  4. “The Night of the Hunter” (1955); Lillian Gish’s character, Rachel, says in the end, always prompts a lump in the throat & tears in the eyes,
    “Lord, save little children. You’d think the world would be ashamed to name such a day as Christmas for one of them and then go on in the same old way. My soul is humble when I see the way little ones accept their lot. Lord, save little children. The wind blows and the rain’s a-cold. Yet they abide…They abide and they endure.”
    Have seen this movie 4 times, could watch it again…

  5. belladonna23

    Everyone deserves peace in their life. Great story.

  6. Tanitha Smith

    Very poweful.

  7. Julie Catherine

    Ethel, this is a brilliant poem, it touches right through to the soul – and you know that I can relate to the childhood abuse part. My heart goes out to all who suffer, whatever the reason. May goodness touch all those in need with the healing spirit and give them comfort. Very well written, Ethel. ~ Love, Julie xox

  8. I know the word is overused, but this is – truly – wonderful, Ethel.

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